Well hello everyone!
We have a special treat in store for you this season. Well, at least I hope it’s a special treat! Turns out Karandi, Crow and I were all planning on reviewing My Next Life As a Villainess this season so we figured why not combine our powers!
This is going to work pretty much like all our collaborative seasonal reviews but instead of just having two of us discuss the episode, there’s going to be three! Easy peasy. In case any of you are new and don’t know all of us, let’s start off with a quick round of introductions. If you’re here, I figure you’re at least a little familiar with me as it’s my blog, and I will be your humble host today. My lovely co-hosts are:
Hi everyone, Karandi here. I really enjoy collaborating with Irina on seasonal reviews and I’m thrilled this season to get to collaborate with both Irina and Crow. I think this is going to be great fun regardless of how My Next Life as a Villainess turns out. Am I meant to look forward more to writing the reviews than to watching the anime?
That isn’t actually true.
My Next Life as a Villainess was a fine anime series for a wind-down after work and for something just silly and relaxing to watch that had some great anime food in it (lots of great desserts – hungry just thinking about it). So a second season seemed like it would be more of the same and that would be fine so I was happily planning on watching it. That said, I’m not expecting much from it – that would be silly.
I’ve never been a lovely co-host before. I’m not sure how to do that! But I’m Crow. I’ve also collaborated on seasonal anime with Irina before, but I haven’t had the opportunity to collaborate with Karandi before. I’m also looking forward to reviewing this series with Irina and Karandi!
I think Karandi’s right on two fronts: First, food plays a big role in My Next Life as a Villainess, to the point where I wonder how in the world Catarina maintains her figure. If I ate half that much… well, I’d look like I had to socially isolate for a pandemic or something! Second, I’m not expecting this series to be 86 or anything. But it’s just so darned pleasant to watch. So, I’m looking forward to review it with two such distinguished bloggers!
IRINA: I will probably be the negative nelly of the season. Just think of me as the Simon Cowell of this trio. It’s not that I don’t like Villainess but I did get pretty bored at several points last season so I think I’m the least enthusiastic of our little troupe. This said the first episode went by in the blink of an eye. Also, this is airing on Fridays and I tend to be in a really good mood Friday evenings!
Unfortunately, as far as review posts go, this is likely going to be a slow start. Episode 1 of Villainess X was pretty much just a recap. I started off with an actual clip montage of season 1, then we got reintroduced to all the characters, their backgrounds and their relationship to Katarina (or Catarina, how do you guys write it?), then we got a quick reminder of the setting and finally, the episode really drove home the fact that this is a harem.
I hope this one turns out better than How Not To Summon a Demon Lord last season. I don’t think you reviewed that one Crow, did you get a chance to watch it?
CROW: Well, yes, mostly. Sort of. Okay, I stopped after 3 episodes. I liked the first season a lot. There were some great moments, like Diablo’s first encounter with the Fallen and his use of White Nova. Plus, it also completely owned its ecchi-ness, which elevated the series as far as I was concerned. I followed your and Karandi’s review of the second season, and I really wished you were wrong! But unfortunately, I think the two of you nailed it. The show just kind of… Well, it’s probably best readers check out your reviews. I also hope this show doesn’t go that route. So far, the indicators are good!
KARANDI: I’m also hoping this one turns out better than How Not To Summon a Demon Lord Omega or The Promised Neverland season 2, or even the continuation of Moriarty the Patriot. This year has so far not been great for sequels.
I’m voting we spell it Catarina but that’s only because that’s how I spelt it in my season one review.
CROW: Seconded! Consistency is good.
KARANDI: And yeah, recap episodes don’t give you a huge amount to talk about but I kind of felt they kept the balance relatively nice here with the recap, the return to the Council of Catarinas who are largely goofing off now that her imminent death has been avoided, and then the silliness of the festival. We kind of got to catch up with everyone, bring in a few potential plot points, and just reorient ourselves in this world and with these characters.
That and I wasn’t bored so they were clearly doing something right.
CROW: The Council of the Wise-ish (an oblique Tolkein reference!) was delightful, as usual. In like 45 seconds, they gave us a complete recap of the players, and they were so much in character as Fearless Catarina, Spineless Catarina, and the rest that it kept me entertained.
IRINA: So after seeing everyone again, I was reminded that Keith used to be my favourite but he was a bit overbearing this time. So maybe I’ll switch to Nicol. Quiet types are good. Although I really liked Jefferey, Alan’s brother. Also, I do like Sirius, but I think I prefer him with red hair. Like a Weasley!
Who were you guys happy to see. I bet Crow missed Mary! He loved her in season 1.
CROW: And my affection for her continues in this season! I like how up front she is — she doesn’t try to hide her feelings for Catarina at all! It really was nice to see her again. Though I can’t say anything bad about Sophia or Maria, either.
KARANDI: I’m a fan of Nicol though Alan would be a close second. Going to say Sirius, despite usually having red hair, doesn’t really stand out much to me which is odd because I’m normally a big fan of guys with red hair.
As far as the girls go I still find Marie a bit too… bland. Though she does make some really good food. Mary though would be my pick because she’s got a bit of a temper and she’s just pretty funny.
CROW: Yes. It must be Mary’s temper I find so attractive. I think that’ll be my explanation going forward.
IRINA: I bet it will be easier to pick out some fun scenes to discuss once the season gets properly going. I did really enjoy the croissant scene though. That’s why I turned it into a gif. It was just so cute. Any moments caught your eye?
KARANDI: I loved the scene where Catarina was skipping along thinking about all the food at the festival and then she suddenly realised her mother might show up. The drop and sneak was hilarious (if pretty standard for this type of anime) and after one quick look around Catarina just promptly decides she’s safe and goes about doing exactly what she wants without another thought for what her mother might think.
The other scene I enjoyed is probably seeing that Catarinas slacking off in the council meeting because they all took their planning and scheming so seriously in season one (even if their plans were pretty rubbish) and now they are just hanging out. Kind of have to wonder why they are even still meeting but I’m glad they did because they are always too cute.
CROW: Maria confessing to Catarina — again — made me laugh. Sirius had to say, “Sorry to interrupt when you two are in your own little world…,” but I’m pretty sure Catarina misinterpreted both of them. Catarina completely misunderstanding Keith and Mary’s fighting prompted them to say to her in unison, “You’ve made a grave misunderstanding.” Sure, it’s similar to what the show gave us in the first season, but for me at least, it still worked.
Oh, and we got our first glimpse this season of the Evil Catarina expression! That’s a constant source of entertainment.
IRINA: I think the ED that we got this episode is probably the OP. And we’ll see it at the beginning of episode 2. In any case, I thought it was fun. Especially the visuals. And it gave us some good clues for what to expect.
KARANDI: Yeah, the song and visuals were pretty fun and I’d be happy with that as the OP this season.
IRINA: I mentioned Weasley, because some of the ED images and the fact that Katarina might join magic school to buy some time, did give me a sort of Harry Potter vibe. Is it sad that we tend to compare all stories taking place in a school for magic to Harry Potter? Or am I the only one that does that? In any case, I’m sure you know what I mean. And I’m not against the idea. It could be fun. Where do you guys think the season is heading? Or where do you hope it goes?
KARANDI: I honestly was wondering what was left in this story now that the main premise of avoiding the doom flags is kind of over. That said, they do have a fun cast of characters so as long as something comes up for them to deal with it will probably be fun to watch.
I am wondering why Catarina would sign up to go into studying magic. I know the superficial reason here was that she wouldn’t necessarily have to go straight to the palace, but I’m pretty sure signing up for magic study is going to be an awful lot of work.
Anyway, I’m kind of trying to remain speculation free at this point because I’m planning on just enjoying this season unless it ends up being boring so I’ll just wait and see what it does.
CROW: Harry Potter had such a huge impact on culture that I think it’d be hard not to compare! That said, I hope the writers avoid going over the same ground that Hogwarts already covered. Or even Little Witch Academia (though I’d give good money to see Sucy have a cameo!).
I think I’ll follow Karandi’s lead and just let the series flow. The first episode was just a recap, and I still enjoyed it. So as long as they keep avoiding any major pitfalls? I think it’ll be a fun series to review.